You changed my life! Thank you from Ghiang

Our 2015 Christmas Appeal focussed on raising funds to enable Hagar Vietnam to support the ongoing medical needs faced by Ghiang (pronouced “Zan”), a young 14 year old girl badly beaten and left for dead. Click here to read her story. Below is a letter from Don Lord, Hagar NZ’s Executive Director, he recently sent to all who donated:



“ I want to thank everybody at Hagar and the donors in New Zealand for caring about me. I would like to send you happiness, health and luck…. I wish you could help many other people like me. I’m so thankful for everything you’ve done. Everybody at Hagar is now like my 2nd family. My life was so bad and I did not know how it could get better. You have changed my life, and I feel very happy.”

Dear friend

This beautiful photo* has just arrived – and on the left, in the red, is Ghiang (“Zan”) – the young girl you so generously helped in our recent appeal. Hagar Vietnam staff told me this is the first time she has let people see her face. It brought me to tears to see her hint of a smile ….and to see that her facemask is in her hand, not over her face anymore. Thank you for giving her reason to smile!

Our Christmas Appeal raised more than $31,000 to help with her future medical costs. When Ghiang and her mother were told how much we had raised, they both cried tears of joy and could not believe it!

Ghiang’s mother also has a special message for you –

“ I’m so thankful to all the donors in New Zealand who cared about Ghiang. He was so violent and cruel to beat her that way. Her face and head were hurt every day. Without Hagar… honestly we wouldn’t have known what to do. She had bad luck but actually it turned out that she is still lucky having you by her side, that comforted her a lot.”

Since our appeal, Ghiang and her mother have returned to their hometown, and Ghiang has gone back to school (9th grade). She is finding it very difficult, and isn’t doing as good as before because of the injuries she sustained in the attack, but she is trying her best. Six months ago, Ghiang was devastated at the thought she may not be able to study again, and believed that she had no future. Thanks to your generosity, Ghiang no longer wants to die. She knows that there are people like you in New Zealand who love her and want her to do well. You have given her hope!

Your donation also enabled doctors to develop a surgery plan for Ghiang, knowing there was funding in place to be able to cover all costs. At the end of last year she had surgery to remove the metal rods used to rebuild her skull  – this is already considered a big success according to her doctors. A plan is in place that in May Ghiang will go to Hanoi for another medical check, to determine whether the bones in her face are strong enough to plant new teeth and so begin the complicated reconstructive dental surgery she needs. You made this possible!

Our team at Hagar Vietnam report that overall, Ghiang feels better after having the metal rods removed, but during cold weather (like at this time in Northern Vietnam), she has headaches all the time. She is still affected by PTSD (though less than before) and still can’t be away from her mother for too long, but she is doing better than she was, thanks largely to the encouragement she feels knowing there are people in New Zealand – like you – who care about her.

On behalf of Ghiang, her family, and the team at Hagar Vietnam, I want to thank you so very much for your generous support. You have changed Ghiang’s life and given her something to live for. You have given her hope, and a future she can look forward to.


Warmest regards




  • Photo has been removed